Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cigar Pal and Co-Conspirator

Today, another friend of mine went home to be with Dad.

I can do nothing but stare at my PC; productivity has been stifled for today. So, I'll just write about Josh.

I've known Josh for about 4 years now. I wish I had known him longer. We smoked a lot of cigars together, and conquered many issues concerning the world, society and the church. In the talking and listening, I found a brother in Josh. Our minds were in sync. We had the same views on most things, so we could talk for hours on end.

Josh has a love for the body of Christ. The thing about that is it's not a cliche; his love for the church is deep, and brutal. He had a way giving it to the church; going for the jugular, in a graceful way. His passion exceeded that of most people I know. He was not into playing games when it came to his faith. He didn't want to preach inside a safe church building; his pulpit could be found in a pub, at a Burger King, Jake's Bar, or at a friend's house.

His faith had no walls.

Josh was an innovator. In a city where church leaders are working out "marketing strategies", he was figuring out people. What makes Miami tick? How can I tell all these lonely and confused people living in this seemingly forsaken city about Jesus, without totally freaking them out?

Most importantly, Josh understood grace. He knew that at the end of the day, there is nothing more. He understood what nakedness meant, more than I ever will; to be stripped bare, a sinful man with nothing to hide, before an awesome, loving and forgiving God.

The saddest thing about Josh dying is not his death. He was in a lot of pain and distress towards the end (...though he only told me once. A week ago, he told me he would be home again by the end of the week, and was making plans to get better and start writing his book/journal. For 3 years, he went for dialysis 3 times a week, never once complaining.)

The saddest thing about his death is that he won't be here to beat knuckle-heads over the head with God's grace. He won't be here to show those he prayed for and spoke of to me on so many occasions, that God loves them despite their shallow self-centered Miami complexes. He loved and cared for so many people; guys and girls who felt the draw of Josh's authentic and transparent nature.

I thank God for the honor having Josh as a friend. Few people had the kind of impact on my life as he did. I will miss him; more than anyone could imagine I will miss him. He summed up the definition of the word "brother".

Now, as I am a fan of C.S. Lewis, Josh was a fan of Blaise Pascal. He would even correct me when I pronounced his name wrong ("no, no, it's {fag-french accent} Pascal, you stupid Cuban"). So in honor of Josh, one of my favorite quotes from Pascal:

Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.


Love ya brother.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Hey Marquito...I am very sorry to hear about your friend...